Big Burger King operator Carrols buys 43 more restaurants

The company said it completed three deals since August and also that Hurricane Florence hurt sales.
Photograph by Jonathan Maze

Big Burger King franchisee Carrols Restaurant Group continues to get larger, thanks to the recent completion of a trio of deals that gave the company 43 more restaurants.

The Syracuse, N.Y.-based company, which operates 848 Burger King locations in the Eastern part of the U.S., acquired a pair of restaurants in Detroit in August, another 31 in September in Virginia and West Virginia and 10 in South Carolina and Georgia earlier this month.

The company also acknowledged that its same-store sales were hurt when Hurricane Florence hit the Carolinas last month. It said that the effect of the storm, including store closures, hurt its same-store sales by 50 basis points.

Carrols said same-store sales increased 1.6% in the third quarter, coming off a 7.5% increase in the same period a year ago.

As Burger King’s largest franchisee, the 1.6% is a notable preview of what the Burger King brand as a whole will report when it releases earnings in the coming weeks.

The franchisee said that its total sales increased 4.1% in the quarter, to $296.9 million from $285.2 million.

Carrols generated $1.09 billion in sales in 2017.

Carrols has expanded considerably in recent years thanks to a long series of acquisitions. The company continues to buy up smaller Burger King franchisees and owns the “right of first refusal” in 20 states in the East—meaning it can step in and purchase any of the chain’s restaurants that are sold in those states.

Carrols bought that right as part of its purchase of 278 Burger King restaurants from the franchisor back in 2012.

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